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Evolution of chromatic button accordion in China

D

Deleted member 48

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Reading the accordion worldwide news I learn Tian Jianan, Chinese CBA player, has won yet another accordion competition. This time it was in Spain.
I hope she can inspire more CBA students in China and other places in the world.
Shes a C-system CBA player in China.
Its interesting to follow the evolution, what will be the percentages in B-system and C-system players in China and Asia?
(Historically, in the beginnings B-system CBA had the lead, because the first teachers and masterclasses in China were given by Russian B-system players)

http://www.accordions.com/news.aspx?d=16-Dec-2016&lang=en#art12527
 

debra

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Wow, great to see a C system CBA player from China winning the competition. PA and B system CBA seem to be much more popular still than C system. It is not for lack of "availability" of the instruments as every CBA manufacturer I know will make a C system instrument when you ask.
 

JerryPH

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Proof once again, that to play accordion well, you need to wear a funny hat... lol

Kidding aside, congrats for her, it is well earned!
 
M

maugein96

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Hope the CBA gains in popularity everywhere so that it might continue for a week or two longer! In the UK it has slid down the chute since the early 70s and teachers are rarer than igloos in the Sahara.

PA seems to be the way for most new players worldwide, and we guys who have never played a PA in our lives are becoming a very rare breed. We CBA types love to make things as difficult as possible for new players.

A guy walked into a store in Belgium and said that he wanted to buy a CBA. "Certainly sir, would you like one with Bruxelles, Charleroi, or Liege treble keyboard system?" "No actually I wanted a Finnish C system". "Sorry sir, never heard of that one. We do have an old French box in the back that is a C system, and we were surprised to find that it is exactly the same as our Bruxelles system. If that's no good I suggest you maybe go to Finland and try."

So the guy goes to Finland and says he wants to buy a CBA. "Do you want a Finnish C system, or a Swedish C system?" The guy explains that after due thought he wants a B system. Store assistant says "You'll need to go to Norway or Russia to get one of those". Guy asks if he could maybe get a B system in Belgium. Store assistant says "Sorry, but I haven't a clue what they play. I'm sure they must play the same type of accordion as they do in France". Guy says, "They don't actually".

Shop assistant says, "Can I interest you in this PA at half the price of the cheapest CBA we have in stock?"

You know the next bit, I hope.
 
S

squeezeboy

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Funny, I could never play a PA... I had a «lady size» 80-bass that I inherited from one of my dad's aunt for many years, I just couldn't play anything on it. Then I had a small 32-bass Hohner Student, same thing. But as soon as I got my hands on a B-griff, and later a C-griff, things started to change! Can't explain why. Seems to me like tunes are so much easier to play on a CBA, the notes seem to be right where the buttons are, without having to think. With a PA, I constantly hit the wrong key... Go figure.
 
M

maugein96

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Hi squeezeboy,

I had the same problem when I tried to play a Yamaha keyboard. Couldn't understand why anybody would want to put some keys higher than others with mega stretches to get an octave, but I was already learning the CBA at the time.

In Scotland CBA players were regarded as a bit weird. When I bought my first one the salesman queried my choice of keyboard. I said that all the top French players used them. He said there was nothing a French player could do that he couldn't do with a PA. I knew he was wrong, but decided to keep my mouth shut. He proceeded to tell me that guys like Andre Verchuren were one in a million, and he was right on that score. However, I was the customer, who is always wrong in Scotland when they don't want a shrill musette tuned PA.

I was in my early 30s at the time and still had that arrogance of youth. I therefore insisted that I wanted a CBA and duly bought one. Then when I asked about tuition I was told that it wasn't going to be easy, so I had no choice but to go it alone in isolation. All that mattered to me was that I had managed to get what I wanted in spite of high pressure sales banter, and I came on in leaps and bounds under my own steam. Unfortunately a serious injury to my right hand in my early 40s prevented me from being a Scottish Verchuren, and I had to learn the whole thing again from scratch.

These days I am still proud that I am a CBA player, even although I'll now never make it into the world of stage performing. In my world PA translates as "Popular Accordion", and CBA is "Considerably Better Accordion".
 
G

Ganza

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Great anecdote Maugein... It is bizarre and probably hampers the progress of the CBA that there are so many different varieties. Amazing that it is still so localised, in a world that becomes less so every day.
 
D

Deleted member 48

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You have to make a clear distinction between accordion dealers and salesmen on the one side, and the official accordion teachers on the opposite side.
And the term opposite is not really exagerated.

The information on CBA layout systems coming from accordion shops, well, you can simply ignore that.

The ones to be contacted for info on CBA layout systems are the official accordion teachers in public schools (not private music schools).
I know the situation in Belgium very well, and I can tell you that ALL cba layouts are either C-system or B-system (= in public music schools).
There is only one C-system in Belgium, and that is the exact same system as in France or Italy.

The Brussels, Liège and Charleroi version of the CBA layouts, all this info comes from a book by H. Boone on the accordion and footbass in Belgium (I have a copy of this book). This book was mainly about diatonic bisonoric accordions in Belgium (19th century Belgium !), and the info on CBA chromatic accordion was outdated (pre 1960s).

I can tell you the official education policies in CBA since 1978 in Belgium: only 2 systems: international B-system and C-system.

(By the way piano accordion isn't even allowed in public music schools).

Conclusion: never get your information in accordion shops and with dealers (especially not when it comes to CBA accordions). Ask the public music school accordion teachers. They will inform you on the exact situation.
 

debra

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Stephen said:
...
I can tell you the official education policies in CBA since 1978 in Belgium: only 2 systems: international B-system and C-system.

(By the way piano accordion isnt even allowed in public music schools).
...
Not entirely complete: the official education policy in accordion in general (in Belgium) is: only 2 systems: international B-system and C-system.
So PA is not allowed, not at music schools and not at the conservatory.
Unofficially PA is allowed in some music schools, only for adults who already have a lifetime of amateur experience with PA. I guess teachers simply take pity on the students who can play PA already quite well and dont force them to switch to CBA.
Not only the ban on PA is strange but the ban on Russian B-system is strange. The Russian B-system is much more popular than the international B-system. (International B-system has low notes at the top on the melody-bass and Russian B-system has it at the bottom. The righthand keyboards are the same.)
 

James

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I do not play a CBA and do not even have one. My understanding is the keyboard arrangement is a key factor that makes a CBA so much easier to play. That leads me to think about the typewriter keyboard. All the 26 letters appear in the keyboard but not in the "normal" alphabetical order. They are arranged "randomly". Eventually, the "QWERTY" keyboard has gained popularity.

The piano keyboard shows the "normal" order of the notes scale. In this sense, it is scientific. But the CBA keyboard (or its gaining popularity) should have proved the easiness of playing weighs more on the side of players.

I wonder if one day the CBA keyboard could appear on the piano. Won't a CBA keyboard piano be much easier to play?

James
 

debra

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James said:
I do not play a CBA and do not even have one. My understanding is the keyboard arrangement is a key factor that makes a CBA so much easier to play. That leads me to think about the typewriter keyboard. All the 26 letters appear in the keyboard but not in the normal alphabetical order. They are arranged randomly. Eventually, the QWERTY keyboard has gained popularity.

The piano keyboard shows the normal order of the notes scale. In this sense, it is scientific. But the CBA keyboard (or its gaining popularity) should have proved the easiness of playing weighs more on the side of players.

I wonder if one day the CBA keyboard could appear on the piano. Wont a CBA keyboard piano be much easier to play?

James
The computer keyboard is not a good example: the strange arrangement was done specifically to slow you down and ensure that as often as possible you need to alternate between a key from the left side and one from the right side.
A piano with CBA keyboard has not been constructed afaik but a piano with the (Reuters) uniform keyboard has been tried and has not caught on.
Accordions with the uniform keyboard also did not become popular. And the somewhat similar idea of the Kravtsov keyboard isnt very popular either (except among Kraftsovs students).
Keyboards and electronic organs with a CBA keyboard and stradella (or even Belgian) bass system have been popular in the seventies and eighties.
 
D

Deleted member 48

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In Belgium, accordion education plans are online, eg at the Ghent Conservatory it is marked only Do1 and Do3 systems.

https://bamaflexweb.hogent.be/BMFUIDetailxOLOD.aspx?a=45200&b=5&c=1

Systeem DO1 en DO3 : basiskennis pedagogische stappen

Do1 = C-system (do note on the 1st row)
Do3 = B-system (do note on the 3rd row)


In private music education, everything is possible. PA players can find private teachers.

In public music schools (in Belgium), PA teachers are outlaws...
dura lex, sed lex...

:D
 

debra

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Stephen said:
In Belgium, accordion education plans are online, eg at the Ghent Conservatory it is marked only Do1 and Do3 systems.

https://bamaflexweb.hogent.be/BMFUIDetailxOLOD.aspx?a=45200&b=5&c=1

...
This page only describes what an accordion teacher needs to learn in order to teach accordion. I have been unable to find what the exact requirements are for someone who wants to study the accordion at the conservatory. I have moved out of Belgium many years ago. After a very brief period in which PA was allowed (late 1970s) only CBA was allowed, B and C system but only with international melody bass system because that is what the teachers knew/know. In the Netherlands all systems are allowed because there is no attitude that some system is better than all the others and should be the only system allowed. In Belgium there has been political pressure to allow only one system but in the end two systems remained but PA fell by the wayside.
 
M

maugein96

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Sorry Stephen,

Was only using my usual devilment to overstate the situation. Do2 Charleroi "B" system accordions are still doing the rounds in Belgium and there are teachers available, even if it has no official status.

Go to Germany and ask for a chromatic accordion and they'll show you a PA. CBAs are called "Wiener" accordions in Germany.

There are probably even more anomalies but I think I've stirred things up enough.
 
D

Deleted member 48

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Do2 Charleroi system can be ordered in Italy, even today. For money, the Italians will make any accordion you want, any layout.
But I think ancient systems like Charleroi D2 etc are only ordered by players over 60/70 years.

Accordion education has also been changing in Germany, C-Griff and B-Griff are most popular in conservatories and with the young starters.
Its true the accordion orchestras in Germany still have a vast majority of PA players in the orchestra, but CBA is on the rise in Germany for some years.

CBA is the preferred layout in accordion education in classical music and at conservatories.
It all depends on retirement of PA teachers who have occupied and dominated the jobs of accordion teachers for decades. Once a PA accordion teacher has retired, and the vacant post goes to a CBA teacher, only then can change can happen.
In the past there wasnt much job rotation in the world of accordion teachers.
Younger accordion teachers are organising more and more courses for guest accordion professors or masterclasses. This is a positive evolution, this way students can experience foreign accordion teaching methods, and exchange best practices.

A while ago, I put a link here to the pdf publications of Modern accordion perspectives, a source coming from the world of classical accordion teachers.
Pdf can be downloaded here:
http://www.claudiojacomucci.com/MAP.html

This could also interest some forum members:
http://accordionclassroom.blogspot.be/2016/03/modern-accordion-perspectives.html
not online yet, maybe early 2017 ? :
Accordion Pedagogy (coming 2016)
 

debra

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Stephen said:
...
CBA is the preferred layout in accordion education in classical music and at conservatories.
...
Preferred yes, mandatory in countries like Belgium, yes, that too, but there are still plenty of young accordion virtuosi with PA, think of Ksenija Sidorova who is very popular, but also Vincent van Amsterdam for instance. Not everyone is making the switch to CBA like Renée Bekkers from Toeac did. I do think that these young PA players will also be PA teachers for the next generation.
 
D

Deleted member 48

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For commercial reasons and for the survival of the international accordion industry, I am very much in favor to keep piano accordion alive.
This way we can lure pianists to the accordion world.
After a brief period of piano accordion, we may convert them to CBA with a transition interval
LOL

Ksenija Sidorova herself stated in an online interview she would choose CBA if she had children who wanted to learn accordion:
http://www.accordions.com/index/squ/archives/1410/Sidorova-Interview.pdf

Yes, and we never had button accordion in my country. Lithuania had one student, now
maybe two on buttons, it would be good to bring it there and if I was a kid now or I were
teaching my child I would probably start them on buttons. Not because of discrimination but
we really do know..

Tian Jianan from China started at the age of 5 on PA, but also changed to CBA.


The Sidorova interview has the sensitive issue on layout in some questions:
Strumenti&Musica readers like to hear about the age-old question regarding systems.
You play piano-bayan with B system free bass. Is this the usual system played in your
native Latvia? Being a piano-accordionist myself I know that piano-accordionists can
often be made to feel a bit like second-class accordionists in accordion circles by
some adjudicators in competitions, some teachers, when compared to our button-
playing colleagues due to some of the genuine and valid advantages buttons have
over piano keys such as their pitch range and how far one can stretch with one hand
etc. Their expectations seem somehow less from piano accordionists. Have you ever
encountered some of these prejudices?


We are all very well aware of the delicate and sensitive matters in layout systems.

But in Belgium, they had to make a decision, otherwise they could not begin with a fresh start, and leave behind the chaotic past. Every jackass could call himself an accordion teacher in the past.

(And in private music education, I can still buy a second hand piano, buy a self tutor, and after 2 weeks put an online add for piano lessons. Without ever having learned or played the piano. If I can get away with it for a few months, I can earn myself some pocket money... Before the students realise Im a clown and a fraud, I take the money and run...)
 

debra

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Stephen said:
...
But in Belgium, they had to make a decision, otherwise they could not begin with a fresh start, and leave behind the chaotic past. Every jackass could call himself an accordion teacher in the past.

(And in private music education, I can still buy a second hand piano, buy a self tutor, and after 2 weeks put an online add for piano lessons. Without ever having learned or played the piano. If I can get away with it for a few months, I can earn myself some pocket money... Before the students realise Im a clown and a fraud, I take the money and run...)
The first teacher at the conservatory in Belgium was Hubert Kicken, a dutch accordion player, teacher, composer... who started teaching in Antwerp around 1977 (give or take a year). At that time PA was very welcome at the conservatory. A few years later Roger Eggermont took over and PA was banned. He also wanted to allow only the B system (with international melody bass, not russian) but in the end mostly because of the popularity of the C system in the regions closer to France the C system was also allowed.

It is true that every jackass could call himself an accordion teacher, but that is equally true today. A degree is only required to teach in publicly funded music schools. And the sad part is that a skilled jackass may sometimes do a lot better than someone who was professionally trained 50 years ago and has not followed the evolution of both the music and the instrument in the past 50 years. Just to name an example: the ricochet technique for playing triplets was completely unknown 50 years ago (or at least not part of the professional training). And accordion players were trained to accept artifacts of their instrument that we now know are defects that should and in fact can be repaired.

In any case, Im glad to see that in China CBA is gaining ground without settling on a single system (Russian B system). And Im glad that most accordion manufacturers do not stick to a single system either, not even the russians. (As you may know, I have a C system AKKO bayan.)
 
D

Deleted member 48

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The official policy in Belgium is knopaccordeon (button accordion, meaning here in Belgium chromatic button accordion). Officially they did not specify Do1 (C-system) or Do3 (B-system), because of the differences between Hubert Kicken, Roger Eggermont and Jules Willems.
So there is some degree of freedom in choosing the CBA layout.

The Music Conservatory of Antwerp played an important role, and also the Lemmensinstituut in Leuven.
As a first year student at the university, I had to write a paper on education and pedagogy. I choose the organisation of accordion education in Flanders, and had a personal interview with Roger Eggermont and his assistent Ludo Mariën, back in 1990/1991. The decision in Belgium for CBA was actually a follow up of the international accordion conferences decisions, I have been told by E. Flecijn, one of my accordion teachers. The intention was to set an international standard for the right hand layout, the bass layout being more or less standardised as international standard bass.

(Most people write international standard bass, but in fact the spelling is international standard bass. Standardisation like in ISO. )

School and education matters are regionalised in Belgium, no longer at the Federal level . So there is a different policy between Flanders, Wallonie, Brussels. (And the small German community in the eastern part, they have some autonomy).

(By the way, diatonic accordion G/C system has also been institutionalised in Flanders for some years now. But they fall under the Folk Music departments. You can also follow diatonic accordion courses in some public music academies or schools.)

From 1990 until early 2000s (with a pause when I was a university student) I have followed accordion courses in 2 public music schools with: Eddy Flecijn, Philippe Thuriot, Bianca Francken, Conny De Merechy.
And in those days I have spoken with every possible accordion teacher in Flanders at masterclasses or recitals (when attending bayan recitals by Russians or Belgian accordionists).

The first generation of accordion teachers (the old school, musette players) were:
Jules Willems:
http://juleswillems.yolasite.com/
http://juleswillems.yolasite.com/biografie.php

Roger Eggermont:Tot in 1991 was de vermaarde accordeonist wijlen Roger Eggermont (1932-1999), toenmalig hoofddocent aan het Koninklijk Vlaams Muziekconservatorium van Antwerpen en bekend van radio en tv, zijn leraar.
http://www.brusselsphilharmonic.be/...ache=1&cHash=b358063fc26ac062eda9ec742b3e4407

The Dutch teacher Hubert Kicken in Antwerp:
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubert_Kicken


However, Eggermont was all into musette and popular accordion music.

It is only later that Ludo Mariën, Eddy Flecijn and Philippe Thuriot became the real first generation of classical accordion teachers in Flanders.
For Wallonie, Christophe Delporte of the IMEP is the teacher.

Eddy Flecijn:
http://www.eddyflecijn.be/

Eddy Flecijn is a very influential accordion teacher in Flanders, also a composer.

Ludo Mariën in Antwerp, Eddy Flecijn in Leuven and Philippe Thuriot in Ghent.
Ludo Mariën - The typewriter (L. Anderson)

Philippe Thuriot:
Philippe Thuriot, Accordeon/Accordion TENUTO 1991

Philippe Thuriot-Accordeon, Accordion/Goldbergvariations Nr 1 J.S. BACH

Christophe Delporte conducting an accordion ensemble at the IMEP:
La Classe dAccordéon de lIMEP

And these are a few members of the new generation of accordion teachers in Flanders:
http://www.accordeonsalon.be/
The Board:
http://accordeonsalon.be/Bestuur/index.html

These persons , born in 1980s and later, they are the very first to receive tuition from classically trained CBA teachers. So I expect the youngest generation to be the best educated accordionists.

Ivan Smeulders in a Kusiakov sonata:
Ivan Smeulders - accordion

An Raskin CBA from Belgium was a teacher in Holland:
http://www.koncon.nl/en/departments...l-music/accordion/teachers/689/an-raskin.html
 

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